Morning business round-up: French banks downgraded


What made the business news in Asia and Europe this morning? Here's our daily business round-up:

Credit rating agency Moody's has downgraded two major French banks after reviewing their exposure to Greek debt.

Credit Agricole was cut from Aa1 to Aa2 and Societe Generale from Aa2 to Aa3.

A third bank, BNP Paribas, was kept on review for a possible downgrade.

All eyes are now on talks to be held later between German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, called in response to growing market fears of an imminent debt default by Greece.

Elsewhere in Europe, figures released in the UK showed that unemployment rose sharply to 2.51 million in the three months to July. The UK jobless rate now stands at 7.9%.

Moving to Asia, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has said the country cannot grow in an isolated way, and it will look to develop global and domestic growth.

He added that more open economic and trade policies would help it and the wider world.

Premier Wen said that he was confident the US and Europe would fully recover from their current economic problems.

His comments came on the opening day of the World Economic Forum in the Chinese port city of Dalian.

Media caption,
Biz Heads

Inflation in India rose to 9.78% in August, its highest level in a year.

The increase was mainly due to the rising cost of food, fuel and manufactured goods across the country.

Inflation is a major headache for the Indian government and the central bank has raised interest rates 11 times in 18 months to try to keep a lid on it.

Despite this, a senior government adviser has said he thinks inflation will stay between 9-10% this year.

Finally, late on Thursday in the US, Intel announced it had set up a development partnership with Google to help improve how the Android operating system runs on its processors.

The move is aimed at giving Intel greater access to the fast-growing mobile devices sector.

The latest edition of the Business Daily programme from the BBC World Service asks whether the ECB could end up in financial trouble itself, if Greece defaults on its debts.

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